Lathrop State Park in Colorado


Vibrant Sunset: A vibrant sunset at Lathrop State Park filled the sky with color and illuminated the lake water with breathtaking colorful sunset reflections during one of our night visits to the park. Photo by Gary Warren /

Formerly of Los Alamos

Lathrop State Park is located in southern Colorado near the town of Walsenburg. The park, which sits near Spanish Peaks, happens to be Colorado’s first state park and is named after the state’s first state park manager, Harold Lathrop.

We walked past this park for years without ever going through the gate. It looked interesting from the freeway, but it’s so much nicer when you enter the park and drive. Since we now travel in a small RV, Lathrop State Park has become a favorite stop when traveling in New Mexico or other Southwestern destinations.

Lathrop is Colorado’s only state park with a golf course. The route serves the towns of Walsenburg and La Veta, Colorado and surrounding areas as well as park visitors. The park also has an archery range as well as trails for horseback riding. The centerpiece of the park is two lakes, Lake Martin and Horse Shoe Lake. The two lakes are close to each other with park roads and hiking and biking trails around the lakes.

The lakes offer plenty of opportunities for water sports such as fishing and boating, and there is also a beach where visitors can swim during the summer months. Lake Martin is the larger of the two bodies of water where all boats are permitted. Horseshoe Lake is a quiet lake reserved for paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking or small boats with trolling motors.

There are three campgrounds in Lathrop State Park, including one with water and electrical hookups for RVs, a campground for dry camping, and a group campground. There are hiking trails throughout the park, including trails near the campgrounds.

We have stayed at Lathrop State Park several times since we finally discovered this hidden gem. We have visited the park all seasons of the year, but fall is our favorite time to visit this area of ​​Colorado. However, the park is open year round.

This family-friendly state park on US Highway 160 just west of Walsenburg, Colorado, is midway between Los Alamos and Denver and has become a favorite stopping point for an overnight stay or just a picnic. travelling. No matter how much time you have, Lathrop State Park is a beautiful stopover with activities for all ages.

Editor’s Note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn travel the country, and he shares his photographs, which appear in the “Posts from the Road” series published in the edition Sunday from the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Fall Fishing: Fishermen float on the lake on a sunny fall afternoon at Lathrop State Park. The fall color is a beautiful contrast to the blue sky and water. Photo by Gary Warren /

Golden Trees and Fallen Leaves: Golden trees retain the last fall color as leaves fall and line the road near a lake in Lathrop State Park. Photo by Gary Warren /

Reflections: Poplars reflect their fall gold in the lake water of Lathrop State Park in southern Colorado. The clouds from above are also reflected in the blue waters of the lake. Photo by Gary Warren /

Spanish Peaks: Two prominent peaks known as the Spanish Peaks rise nearly 14,000 feet near Walsenburg, Colorado. Lathrop State Park sits at the base of these landmarks in southern Colorado. Photo by Gary Warren /

January Sunset: The sunset flies over the icy lake of Lathrop State Park this past January. The lakes freeze every winter, but ice fishing is not recommended as the ice may not be thick enough to walk on. Photo by Gary Warren /


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